Mike Hammer: Song Bird

  • 1998
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Action, Crime

Stacy Keach walks the walk and talks the talk in this nostalgic noir film cobbled together from two episodes of the 1997 Mike Hammer, Private Eye TV series, but imbues his tough guy role with a detachment that mocks the material. Chanteuse Lila B. (Moira Walley) shouldn't have gotten mixed up with underworld lieutenant Johnny Dive (Frank Stallone). The police...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Stacy Keach walks the walk and talks the talk in this nostalgic noir film cobbled together from two episodes of the 1997 Mike Hammer, Private Eye TV series, but imbues his tough guy role with a detachment that mocks the material. Chanteuse Lila B. (Moira Walley) shouldn't have gotten mixed up with underworld lieutenant Johnny Dive (Frank Stallone). The police forced Johnny to wear a wire in hopes of getting information on Johnny's boss, Don Vito, but Don Vito's dim-bulb son, Junior, accidentally spills wine on Johnny and reveals that he's a turncoat. Johnny's betrayal endangers both him and his moll, Lila. She goes on the lam, and the mobsters hope she'll lead them to Johnny. Unfortunately, Lila has also aroused the interest of Junior, a jazz afficionado who begins stalking her. Wherever Lila goes, murder follows, and Private Eye Mike Hammer (Keach) enters the fray to protect his buddy, bandleader Des Long (Jack Sheldon), who's Lila's boss. Both Lila's piano players are rubbed out just for escorting hera. With Johnny nowhere to be found, Lila agrees to Don Vito's request that she marry milquetoast Junior, but Mike has begun to wonder whether Junior is as ineffectual as he seems. A free-for-all breaks out at the wedding and Lila flees again. Temporarily stumped, Hammer must figure out what the murdered musicians, a power struggle in the mob and Johnny's disappearance have to do with each other. This soft-boiled homage to hard-boiled detective tales handles its rugged action better than its mystery story. Set in a smoky, bygone era of jazz clubs, its compromised by repetitive sleuthing and Moira Walley's off-key warbling.

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  • Released: 1998
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Stacy Keach walks the walk and talks the talk in this nostalgic noir film cobbled together from two episodes of the 1997 Mike Hammer, Private Eye TV series, but imbues his tough guy role with a detachment that mocks the material. Chanteuse Lila B. (Moira W… (more)

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